News / USA

House Postpones Vote on Republican Debt Ceiling Plan

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, second from right, and fellow House Republicans leave a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 28, 2011. From left are, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., Rep.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, second from right, and fellow House Republicans leave a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 28, 2011. From left are, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., Rep.
Cindy Saine

The U.S. House of Representatives has delayed a vote on a Republican plan to cut government spending and raise the federal borrowing limit in two stages.  With only five days until a potential default on the national debt, drama reached a peak in the House late Thursday, as the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, postponed the vote amid reports he did not have enough support among his own Republican caucus to pass it.

The vote on the bill proposed by House Speaker John Boehner was scheduled for early evening, Washington, D.C. time. But after two hours of debate on the “Budget Control” bill, instead of voting on it, the Republican-controlled House suddenly turned its attention to bills on re-naming post offices.

The House then recessed for several hours, amid reports that Speaker Boehner did not have the 217 votes he needed to pass the measure among his 240 Republican caucus members. 

Individual Republican lawmakers were seen entering and leaving the Speaker's office, amid speculation Boehner was holding one-on-one-consultations with anti-government Tea Party supporters, who have opposed the bill because they feel it does not cut spending enough.

Emerging from the Speaker's office, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas told reporters he was still a “bloodied, but beaten NO” vote.

Earlier Thursday, Speaker Boehner appeared confident at a news conference.

“Today the House will take action, again, on a solution to end the debt limit crisis.  We will take action again, just like we did on our budget, on solutions to the problems that are facing our nation,” he said.

A number of Republican lawmakers took the floor to call for passage of the Boehner "Budget Control" bill,  which would cut government spending by a larger amount than it would increase the debt limit.  Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt is not only endangering the future for America's children, but that all of that borrowed money and the interest paid on it are hurting the U.S. economy right now.

"Half of that money is coming from other other countries like China.  Why on earth do we want to give the president a blank check, to keep doing that, giving our sovereignty and our self-determination to other countries to loan us money to fund our government," said Ryan. "Those days have got to end."

Several Republican lawmakers said the bill was not perfect, but that it was a compromise and the best chance to avoid default.  House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and other Democrats strongly disagreed, saying  the bill was not bipartisan and not a compromise.

"There is no common ground here, nor was it sought.  We find ourselves at an unprecedented place today.  Americans stand on the brink of default," said Hoyer. "It stands there my friends,  because the leadership of the House has failed to act in a timely and responsible way."

Congressman James Clyburn summed up the view of most Democratic lawmakers.

"While the clock is ticking, the Republican majority is dickering and the American people are hurting.  Our financial markets are on pace for their worst week in nearly a year.  State governments are bracing for downgrades in their borrowing capacities," he said.

Analysts see the postponement of the House vote as a political embarrassment for Boehner, and an indication that the Tea Party members of his caucus may oppose any raising of the debt ceiling.

On the Senate side, 53 senators have signed a letter saying they will not vote for the Boehner plan, so analysts says the House measure has virtually no chance of passing the Senate, even if the Speaker manages to get it passed in the House on Friday.  Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has put forward his own plan to raise the debt limit and cut spending, and it has been endorsed by President Barack Obama.

Without a deal on some kind of plan to raise the $14.3 trillion legal limit on borrowing by the deadline, the Treasury Department says it will not have enough money to pay all of its bills starting August 2. That could bring a default that would likely prompt rating agencies to cut the U.S. credit rating, bringing higher interest rates and hurting economic growth.


You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs